Jonathan Rowland

What does the uprising mean to me?

With the Gathering 2018 just days away, Jonathan Rowland shares his thoughts on the event's theme: The Uprising.

The only thing that I could compare it to was easily found in nature, and to me, the word ‘uprising’ can be represented by the ‘sun’.

Switching to national geographic channel.

The sun lies at the heart of the solar system, where it is by far the largest object. It holds 99.8 percent of the solar system's mass. The visible part of the sun is about 10,000 degrees Fahrenheit (5,500 degrees Celsius), while temperatures in the core reach more than 27 million Fahrenheit (15 million degrees Celsius), all driven by nuclear reactions.

Switch back to my brain.

An uprising to me begins at the heart of our society, it can never function underground for long, just like the sun an uprising cannot hide... it’s too bold, larger than the shadows and it knows this about itself... it shines bright as that’s what it was created to do.

The uprising is knowledgeable of the past, present and is aware of the future and has no problem affecting those it comes into contact with. The uprising knows most of the facts as it’s been there, listening, taking in information from all, it’s not afraid to rub shoulders with those deemed as small and is confident enough to speak to those considered big.

The visible part of the uprising is a message that can actually be related to and heard by all and that message is what gets the uprising through those doors, but deep inside, in the core of the uprising, which is hotter, is a vision of enabling real change to take place through its ability to empower, encourage and equip. This fully sustains the uprising allowing it to push forward regardless of opposition.

I feel an uprising doesn’t have to be fed or validated by external sources to existing, its self-sustaining and self-sufficient.

I may have to copyright all that?!

How can we see a culture-shaping movement of Jesus-followers impact our communities?

Back to the sun.


See to me uprisings begin like a sunrise, low on the horizon, slowly rising to the point where the sun has broken through and is now shining bright, visible to all, high in the sky. How do you know when the sun is coming?

You’re kind of likely to hear it first (not literally), I mean the cockerel starts to crow, the birds start to sing, nature is affected.. we as Jesus-followers need to speak His word for all to hear. Wake people up.

Once woken up by an audible message you see the sun breaking through the darkness of the night. The message is important as it brings life, transformation...

You then start to feel the warmth of the sun as it begins to heat up the atmosphere and everything it’s rays touches. The sun makes things hot, and those things make those things around it hotter.

It’s a domino effect! All of a sudden you can see clearly now, you feel warm and everything around you, everyone around you is alive, a culture has been formed... It is a process... a journey... felt by all senses.

For us to impact the communities we live in we have to be on fire for God. Not just speak it but live and act it. Which answers the question “What is it going to take for our nation to change?” Holy Spirit filled, fire fire fire Jesus followers who are in every structure in today’s society, social, cultural, economic, government systems being trendsetters and boldly proclaiming who they serve to all.

What does it look like for a generation to rise up and participate in a true uprising? And more specifically, what does it take for you and I to be part of that?


I’m not old enough to have experienced massive national change other than technological advancement I guess. Such as growing up with a rotary dial phone, to digital phone, to iPhone 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, X.

I remember having no internet to then having dial-up modem internet to broadband, and now fibre optic. I’ve been fortunate to see the change of one2one, to T-mobile, and then EE.

I say that to say, after I traded in my blue see-thru pager and got a Nokia mobile phone, I noticed that many were getting tired of paying extortionate prices to receive voicemails or sending text messages... “someone” decided to find an alternative way and let people know the codes to input in your phone where you could receive your messages for free... a revolution began and spread like wildfire obviously.

Soon it felt like 99.8% of people were receiving free text’s and voicemails until the networks just decided to give in and do away with the extortionate cost. This generation wouldn’t have a clue about that... they reaped the benefits of that. I feel what an uprising looks like is this, it’s like a revolution. Someone who wants to break the norm, and actually bold enough to declare it to the world!

“We choose to go to the Moon” President John F. Kennedy stood before Congress on May 25, 1961, and proposed that the US "should commit itself to achieve the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the Moon and returning him safely to the Earth." Not everyone was impressed; Gallup Poll indicated that 58% of Americans were opposed. He was assassinated on 22 November 1963 at 12:30 pm.

"I Have a Dream" is a public speech delivered by American civil rights activist Martin Luther King Jr. during the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom on August 28, 1963, in which he calls for an end to racism in the United States and called for civil and economic rights. He was assassinated on 4 April 1968 at 6:01 pm.

“...I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” Jesus Christ (John 10:10) He is real, authentic, He is relevant. He spoke with honesty. He was a man on a mission. He was a radical, a revolutionary, yet tender and kind and loving. He was doing things completely against the rules of the day. He was a mix of justice, kindness, judgment and grace. John 3:16 records what happened also to our Lord.

An uprising cost everything as it’s the last stand to bring actual change before we leave this earth? Why wouldn’t we want to be a part of one for our Lord and Saviour?

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